School is in Session: Supporting Higher Education Institutions
Colleges and Universities across the country have returned to school. Campuses are buzzing with adult learners who are there to further their education. When we think of the term “back to school,” it often seems to be more applicable to K-12 students. This time of year usually includes traditions such as teacher open houses, photos, school supplies, new shoes, and clothes, perhaps a gift for their new teacher, and let’s not forget the annual back-to-school picture. Back to school is a season, to be sure.
Back to school looks different for higher education. This time of year often represents a new season of life for college students. Maybe they’re moving out on their own or living at home and working while attending college.
Many students are returning to school as professionals because they desire a career change or to further their opportunities with an advanced degree. Perhaps they’re single parents or students from another country. In higher education, student diversity is vast, and the one word that comes to mind is CARE.
Caring for students and the institutions they attend is essential. Mental health is a tremendous factor to consider for college-aged students. By providing relief, intervention, and care, students, faculty, and staff will benefit from having extra support.
An old saying rings true: “Actions speak louder than words.” Take action and be present on campus. Set up booths in the student center or on campus, smile, and pass out fun but useful swag that’s branded and will be remembered.
Across the board, retention is a keyword in K-12 and higher education. Schools want to retain their students. Schools need to retain their students. Likewise, students must retain what they are learning. How can you help with retention on-campus or via online learning? Offer a variety of interventions for schools and students to utilize at the college level. Students with IEPs and learning challenges in K-12 likely still have them in college. Provide affordable and accessible services to help all parties involved with retention.
Higher education is exciting! It means that students choose to continue their education to accomplish their goals. Lifelong learning is a gift to the learner and their community. Help promote excitement about this for students, faculty, and staff. Life can be complicated and stressful for everyone. Provide positive and motivating opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to help brighten their day.
Remember that higher education is incredibly diverse, from four-year universities to community colleges, vo-tech, trade schools, and online learning programs. The ability to receive an education has never been more varied or available. There is an excellent opportunity to partner with these higher education organizations and help them promote a positive back-to-school experience for their students and employees. School is in session, let’s not forget to support and celebrate adult learners, too.
Written By: Meredith Biesinger
Professional Writer/ Education Specialist
Meredith Biesinger is a licensed dyslexia therapist in Mississippi, in addition to being an experienced classroom teacher and K-12 administrator. Meredith also works as a consultant, where she bridges the bridge the gap between K-12 school districts and ed-tech organizations. With a passion for literacy, she is also a professional writer and syndicated author. With a M.Ed in Educational Leadership and a B.S. in English Education and Creative Writing, she has had rich and diverse opportunities to teach students and education professionals in different parts of the country as well as overseas.
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